CAMp Cook­InG warm up to sriracha sauce


Camper Trailer Australia - - CONTENTS - WORDS anD picS MACCA

You know how we all skip through life with nary a worry? You know what I mean: like, you get up, you get dressed and you go about your daily things. Oc­ca­sion­ally, you might come down with a cold or your part­ner chips a nail or the dog throws up in the car on the way to the beach. Just nor­mal stuff!

Then there’s the stuff that makes us who we are and shapes us and our lives for­ever and the stuff that just hap­pens to other peo­ple. I’m not talk­ing about cat­a­strophic things but just nor­mal stuff, like mi­nor car crashes, jobs go­ing west or money prob­lems. Some­one else is al­ways worse off than you.

I’ve spent enough time lis­ten­ing to mates and ac­quain­tances in pubs across this wide brown land to have had my fair share of bent ears, and while I sym­pa­thise and show em­pa­thy, it’s still usu­ally some­one else’s prob­lem.

Then ‘it’ hap­pened to me.

It was Christ­mas Eve and I was work­ing far away from my base, on an is­land on the Buc­ca­neer Ar­chi­pel­ago near the Hor­i­zon­tal Water­fall north of Derby in Western Aus­tralia. And there was a storm of some mon­u­men­tal pro­por­tions go­ing on that night. It was the rem­nants of a trop­i­cal cy­clone that was now just a mon­soonal low, and it wasn’t in the mood for Christ­mas Cheer. It was more like Christ­mas jeer.

Scur­ry­ing to the bath­room for a mid­night com­fort break, I took a dive and hurt my foot. Now, not be­ing an ex­pert in bro­ken feet nor ever hav­ing had one, I thought I’d just sprained my an­kle.

Christ­mas day ar­rived and I got on with cook­ing lunch for 20 peo­ple. And, to keep up the con­cen­tra­tion needed to com­plete my work, I swal­lowed my fair share of pain killers.

I hob­bled around for the next three days un­til I had trou­ble putting on my boot be­cause of the swelling, I fi­nally strapped it up and made plans to see a doc­tor once I got back to Broome.

It turned out to be bro­ken, and that’s when my world dis­in­te­grated. Now, I am male, and while I’ve never been through child­birth or other mi­nor facts of life, this was a ma­jor calamity.

And be­cause it was con­firmed as be­ing a proper frac­ture, the pain went up about ten-fold, and I be­came com­pletely in­ca­pable of do­ing any­thing, or even car­ing for my­self.

I had caught the pity train and it was an ex­press ser­vice to the sta­tion called ‘pa­thetic wal­lower’.

Sud­denly, I was in­ca­pable of un­der­stand­ing why no-one else was in­ter­ested in my plight. The grotesque im­mo­bil­i­sa­tion boot I had to wear and the fact that I was clearly dis­abled didn’t seem to stop peo­ple from go­ing about their own busi­ness, with hardly a side­ways glance at the poor pa­thetic in­di­vid­ual I had be­come.

And be­cause I took a dive in the toi­let block, it wasn’t even a sexy way to break some­thing. I mean, it wasn’t as if I’d dragged some­one out of a burn­ing build­ing and bro­ken it do­ing so. I slipped in the bath­room, for good­ness sake!

It has been a great les­son for me. First, I learned that I’m a hope­less pa­tient. I have lit­tle tol­er­ance for pain, and if you’re look­ing for sym­pa­thy, don’t break your foot in the dunny.

But, in spite of my con­di­tion, it did give me a lit­tle bit of time to ex­per­i­ment with a cou­ple of new recipes, and with the Asian in­flu­ence that can be so read­ily found in Broome, I’ve be­come rather ad­dicted to Sriracha chilli sauce. It adds great flavour to Asian-in­spired dishes and gives you that lit­tle glow when you eat it.

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